College Works Painting Reviews

College Works Painting is a nationally know company and prides itself of being the leading provider of house painting services throughout the United States. Every year, their group of energetic and well-trained branch managers set the bar for professional work, customer service, clean and safe work sites, and top notch workmanship. Moreover, to ease their clients worries, each of their house painting projects has an iron-clad warranty backed by the strength of a national company.

Although, College Works is a nationally know company some bad publicity has risen recently. There has been some hinting at some shoddy practices in the way that they treat customers and staff alike. Picking through the conflicting posts, in an attempt to get to the truth of the matter, is very difficult, considering the sheer volume of information online. The internet is a powerful tool for finding information, but its success is also its downfall. Even the most thorough research can simply muddy the waters and leave the researcher even more confused.

A quick look online will reveal some testimonials narrating how the company provided a poor and substandard service, or refused to fix any problems. Conversely, there are many testimonials from satisfied customers, praising the enthusiasm of the trained interns and the quality of their work. The difficulty lies in trying to find the balance between the two, sifting out the genuine testimonials from the misleading ones.

The Difficulty of Sifting Through the Information

The main problem is that the internet is a very bad place to find meaningful reviews, because it is so easy to abuse the anonymous nature of most sites. Some companies have been known to ask employees to visit forums and leave glowing reviews about products. On other occasions, one unhappy customer, or steamed competitor, may open multiple IDs on different forums and saturate the internet with negative reviews.

There is a very sinister side to the internet, and commercial sabotage of competitors is commonplace. Companies deliberately set up false testimonials to damage the competition’s image. It is extremely difficult to be sure where the truth lies, or to make any reasoned judgment about the best company for the job.

Despite this, there are definitely some negative testimonials that portray the organization in a very bad light. A few unhappy homeowners give a bleak picture of College Works Painting Company, stating that the Branch Managers were out of their depth, and the work was amateurish and shoddy. Many testimonials also decry the lack support in fixing the problems after they were brought to the company’s attention. Finally, there are a few reports from disgruntled ex-employees, complaining about the working conditions, or the way in which they were treated by the organization.

It would be very easy to discard College Works as a potential contractor and search elsewhere for a company to paint your home. There is one factor to bear in mind before following this course of action; it is important to remember that no business is perfect. If you surveyed the customers of any contracting business in the US, you would stumble across the odd unhappy customer. You would also find many satisfied customers, but human nature dictates that people are more likely to complain than praise. The old business adage states that every unsatisfied customer tells ten other people, whilst a satisfied customer tells only one. It is certainly true when attempting to research any company online.

College Works Painting certainly does not appear to be a cowboy outfit, or operate a ‘take the money and run scam.’ Yes, there appear to be a few genuinely bad reviews amongst the various online obfuscations, but no more than with any other contractor. When the price and the chance to help a budding entrepreneur are taken into account, the organization offers a competitive deal.

Certainly, there is no harm in using the internet forums and blogs to find out about a company. However, in the world of contracting; it is wise to seek testimonials from locally based customers. For any franchise business, every region is different, and the quality of service depends largely upon the talent of the individual running that particular franchise. If your neighbors had their house painted by College Works Painting, and were delighted by the experience, then that recommendation is worth far more than an anonymous post on a forum. There is no harm in using the internet as a starting place for your research, but it is a poor substitute for old-fashioned word of mouth.

The key to hiring any contractor for major building work is to take a few precautions, ensuring that you minimize the chances of heartbreak. These tips apply to College Works and to any other company wanting to work in your home. If you follow this common-sense advice, you will be able to make a rational decision about the best contractor for the job.

The Precautions Needed for Hiring a Painting Contractor

Any company is going to have poor employees, or managers that are completely out of their depth. Mistakes happen, and customers can certainly have an unsatisfactory experience, even from a highly rated company. College Works Painting is no better, or worse than any other painting contractor, so you need to be sure that you are making the best choice for your individual circumstances. When the branch manager visits, to provide you with an estimate and discuss your exact requirements, make sure that you ask them a few simple questions. If they appear to be evasive or unsure, then trust your gut instincts and look elsewhere. If they are sincere, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, then you can certainly think about hiring them.

The first precaution is to ask around your local area and obtain references from genuine customers, rather than trust the testimonials that you find online. Major building work is not the same as buying a new mobile phone or a choosing an insurance company. It is a big commitment and you should be doubly sure before signing any contract or handing over any money. Do not fall for any hard sell, and pay no heed to any suggestions that you should sign quickly or lose the opportunity. A good contractor will be keen to take on the assignment, and will wait for a day or two whilst you think things over.

Ask the representative to provide you with some examples of work performed for previous clients of that particular branch of College Works Painting. The Branch Manager should be very happy to do so, and will put you in touch with satisfied customers. If the featured home is in your neighborhood, go and look, so that you can see the results with your own eyes, rather than trusting unreliable testimonials.

If you are confident that the organization will provide a good service, then you can proceed to the next stage, and begin to negotiate a contract. For safety, make sure that you do not hand over a large sum of money as a deposit, limiting the amount to a maximum of 25% of the final estimate. This minimizes the losses if anything goes wrong, although disasters are not as common as the testimonials would lead you to believe.

The company has recently improved its procedures for handling customer complaints, finally realizing that the negative publicity is harmful to the organization. This provides an extra layer of security to the homeowner, as they know that the franchise will make good any problems. Nevertheless, it is good practice to keep on top of the contractors, ensuring that any potential problems are pointed out as early as possible.

For example, it is much easier for the contractor, and for you, if you point out that the shade is not the one that you asked for when they have opened the first tin. Waiting until the house is half-finished, before highlighting the issue, means that the contractor cannot return the paint for a refund, and has lost money. Understandably, they will become a little more reluctant to change the shade the further they are into the job.

Many bad testimonials about contractors arise because the homeowner did not raise issues quickly enough, preventing an amicable solution. Of course, this is not to say that all of the bad testimonials are inaccurate or untrue, only that some problems could easily have been prevented.

College Works Painting - Conclusions

The above precautions should be followed with any contractor, and give you some protection from the scammers, schemes, and cheats out there. Judging by the information available online, College Works Painting is as safe as any of the other options, and certainly offers a competitive price.

College Works Painting Princeton Review

CWP's selectivity in recruiting (rated as a top internship in America by Princeton Internship Review in the area of selecting candidates) and the effectiveness of our training virtually guarantees their interns a successful summer job. Moreover, as the interns are paid very well, they will surely earn their money from demanding effort and work. It is not a get-rich-quick thing. It entails hard work, maybe harder than you ever have worked before that builds ever-lasting skills for a strong work ethic.

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Comments 24 comments

Oxy 6 years ago

I am a college student who last year worked for College Works Painting and since have been promoted to a District Manager position with the company. This year I will assembling a team of quality managers and helping them run successful businesses. Last year as a manager I completed the summer with a 100% customer satisfaction rating as well as a reference letter from each of my customers, and not once did I have a customer complaint. College Works Painting is ranked top 100 by the Princeton Review based on selectivity.

Oxana 6 years ago

Real-world experience in training teams in marketing, sales (very strong sales training), production (minimal training) Profit & Loss (medium training). Depending on the state, you are working with other very motivated individuals. Lots of team support, "fun" trips (Cancun for top producers at years end, individual team activities like wakeboarding, sports,, etc.). Chance to make good money while in school (top producers make $35-$45,000 over 8 month period, plus bonuses ($5,000 - $8,000) plus chance to purchase annual NSG / CWP bond at high percentage rate.

abstract painting online 6 years ago

much like brother. i found it good.

momofapainter 6 years ago

My son worked for College Works Painting. I think the intention of the company is great...teach the kids about running a business and work ethic. However, there are some getting paid from the company on time and district managers making sure accounts are kept straight in a reasonable amount of time....these things are important for kids who have loans.

jcales profile image

jcales 6 years ago Author

drawbacks with any kind of job. It's tough to have your "perfect job" unless you are the owner which also has drawbacks. yes, mgmt should oversee more that accounts are kept up and done properly. Staffing may be an issue in tough economic times.

EX CWP 5 years ago

I was recruited to work for College Works Painting as a manager this summer and I am amazed at their blatant use of lies and false promises to make money. CWP taught me how to make painters believe they would be making tons of money by working hard for us where in fact they often made minimum wage when their checks finally came. I had to constantly hire new painters all summer because they would quit as soon as they saw their paychecks.

Not only did they lie to the painters, but as a manager I was bombarded by false promises and lies. I made college works painting $50,000 this summer. According to their promises I should have made roughly $15,000 in commission this summer. I worked 60 hours a week all summer and endless hours on the weekends in the bitter cold all spring semester. For all the hours I put in, I made about $2,000. I would have made much more working for minimum wage at a real job. College Works takes advantage of young ambitious college students that want to get ahead but end up being used to make the VPs and CEOs money. This company is not about building and training young entrepreneurs. Its about making money and ripping off everyone else to do it. If you are considering hiring CWP to paint your home this summer I warn you not to do it. Hire someone with actual painting experience. CWP trained us how to sell, not how to paint. I can give you one hell of a sales pitch but I'm a terrible painter. But you won't know that until after I have a deposit check and a signed contract. RUN FROM CWP!

Former Manager 5 years ago


I worked as a manager my freshman year in college. I made 26% profit on my total revenue, worked weekends during my spring semester, and I worked roughly 60 hours a week for my first 3 weeks of summer. I developed a good system to paint all the houses and cut my work hours down to about 2 hrs a day during the week, and 8hrs a day during weekends. I hired a total of 10 painters over the summer and painted over 35 houses. 100% customer satisfaction.

These are just the facts of my experience. If your facts were that you worked a lot and made no money, well, that's your fault and you should take personal responsibility for your failure. I budgeted my time and budget well so that I made money and spent little time, you didn't. That's the facts.

You can go from failure to success if you choose to, you cannot go from excuses to success.

Former Manager from TX

MJ 5 years ago

This may be a good company for business maajors, however I don't feel this company is very honest. I'm a psychology major, and when I was called for an interview I was told that I would be working with advertising companies, and helping them how to improve their advertisements on the psychological level (which would have been very helpful for my career). However this is a company that does door to door estimates, it has nothing to do with psychology. I was also told I would be interning for "National Services Group" but obviously this is "College Works Painting". Be very careful with this company, they wasted a lot of my time.

karate kid 5 years ago

Thanks to college works paintings, at least people can make some cash!

lax520 5 years ago

I worked as a manager for college works painting last summer and made 15,000. yea i worked hard and did have my challenges but it was a job that gave me more opportunities than anything else could. College Works painting is an amazing company that honestly just wants to create leaders and successful people. If you had a bad experience or didn't make any money you most likely weren't trying very hard.

zschenks 5 years ago

I worked for college works this summer. And in my opinion i think they took advantage of hard working college students. Our "manager" was not nearly as helpful and available as he once said he would be during the interview process. He made lots of "promises" that were never fulfilled and had no real reason for us not receiving them. He said it would be "our business" and he would sit back, but much of the time it wasn't our business, he made behind the scenes decisions that had nothing to do with him, and were unfair. He also is not as smart as one would expect him to be, making simple spelling mistakes like, Vagas, and misusing than and then. College Works does however promise a great paint job and 95% of the time the client does receiver that, because of the hard work of these students.

Ryan 5 years ago

I am a student at the University of Illinois. I got involved with College Works when I was a freshman. I was a few weeks into the program when I realized that this was a scheme in many ways. First of all, at the meetings they set up with management, they tell you some pretty unusual things and they entice you with their few success stories. For example they tell you that other students will warn you about these companies and try and stop you from continuing the program then they show you earnings of a couple of employees. If that's not shady enough, they never tell you how much money you will have to front. I would compare these interviews to a time share pitch. Everything sounds great but the reality is often undesirable. Anyway, once you look at the structure of the company, it is clear that this is, by definition, a pyramid scheme. You have many, many investors at the bottom (naïve labor, and time) and you have a very small top (management) collecting money from the investors at the bottom. You may think that all companies are structured like this, however, as you move up in a real company, responsibility increases. If the guy at the bottom does not perform, the manager suffers too. In a pyramid scheme many of its lowly investors can fail and the pyramid will stand. That is why most of the people that I know who have actually done this program lost money in the process and they have a garage full of unused paint supplies the College Works did not have to invest in.

For parents who have heard about this through there child (who is considering this program) and think it is a good idea, be skeptical, I convinced my parents too. They tell you to call your parents and convince them. By the way, the Princeton review at the top of the page is a joke. College Works is not selective at all. Everyone who applies gets in. This is another aspect of a pyramid scheme.

Finally, I just want to make it clear that this is NOT a scam. Everything they do is legal from what I can tell. It is in fact a pyramid scheme and because success is possible no matter how incredibly rare, they can legally continue business. Nevertheless, to anyone who actually makes the investment, I wish you well. I hope you at least get your investment back.

SJSU Student 5 years ago

This internship is per a person basis. It is different for everyone. You reap what you sow. If you're planning to just punch in and have everything spoon-fed to you then go find a desk job because this is a tough internship that challenges you with hands on business experience. It is not for the weak minded.

The selectivity exists and plenty of people out of thousands are sent away every year. Selectivity is constant. Part of the selectivity is within the mind of the very applicants. Part of it is simply weak-minded interns quitting. Those are the people who would close shop the moment a recession hits. They don't want people like that. Its about working-hard but also having fun, doing what you say, upholding integrity, sowing your efforts so that you can reap in the end. People who don't finish this internship will NEVER understand. because they left before the crops grew. People who don't try will NEVER understand because they didn't sow anything. This is for hard-working people who want to set themselves apart. There is a reason why some people are leaders and some people are followers. The followers quit and the leaders continue to success.

I argue also that this isn't a pyramid scheme due to the fact that a pyramid scheme would have their intern's hire more intern's who would hire more intern's and continue until some unending day. It stops with the intern. The only people they hire are painters. Period. They're painters aren't hiring anyone else. So is it a pyramid scheme? No.

Anyone can succeed in this internship. I know because I did. If you don't quit and work hard then you'll make money. It's more about effort than skill. The skills will be taught. You must be willing to learn. If you think you know everything then here's a reality check. You don't. If you don't listen to your district manager then its like not listening to your parents when they tell you to do A and you run off, do B, fall on your face and blame them for not stopping you. People curse the internship they were too full of it to listen to what they were told to do. They'll never make you do something. They'll push you but if you don't do it, its your own downfall.

I ran a 70,000 dollars business and made 12,000 through this internship. I know its doable. I worked hard, learned to manage my time. I also took notes in every training as other interns around me goofed off. I ran a paint team that worked so well, I went on vacation in the summer while the others who didn't listen worked all summer. I got 20 reference letters that I can bring to any interview. I got job offers from companies that I didn't even apply for. So tell me. Is it a scam or did you just not try hard enough?

C.Wilson 5 years ago

I read thew comments after seeeing headlines that the EPA whacked CWPS for failure to obeay lead notifications Hefty Fine assessed.

The inputs are interesting -- Accusers giving specifics, Defenders giving Rtalk radio "personal responsibility" accusations "if you worked hard without making money its your own fault." Invariably, follow-up seentences claim great summer profits in amazingly round numbers. This stands in-response to "students paying for materials out-of pocket." Hmmmm.

Past Intern 5 years ago

I too have worked for college works in the past and think I offer a slightly different take than most of the reviews I have read around the web. The fact of the matter is people do succeed, its just much less than the number of people who fail. I had many friends from this internship that I still talk to today who had the worst possible experiences, and it was NOT due to lack of work ethic, INTEGRITY (college works favorite word), or anything on their part for that matter. There certainly is a lack of proper paint training and support. By its own admission the company train the DM's (interns mentor) to only work with the top interns on their team; so that leaves the people who need the most help shit out of luck. As an intern I wanted to quit on numerous occasions, felt taken advantage of, and felt the INTEGRITY of the company is way, way off. It absolutely IS all about the money and not about developing personnel. All this being said, my internship year I sold over $80,000 in paint jobs, produced all of it complaint free, got a free trip to Cancun, and made over $17,000. I would never take back working for them and will have the skills I developed during it for my entire life - my friends who failed say the same thing. Take the company for what it is- it gets you started, takes their money, and says good luck; if you can handle that, then this internship is just for you, as it was me. But if you cant, stay away and don't falsely judge something that you really can NEVER understand without completing it.

Painter 5 years ago

Look, this is great and all, doing this for young kids, but part of professional interior/exterior painting is experience, BEFORE YOU START OUT AS A PAINTER. Going on a couple of job sites and learning how to use an expensive sprayer and one 25 ft. extension ladder does not make you a damned painter, sorry. It takes years and years of experience, at least 10, to become a satisfactory painter capable of handling any job under any conditions. I have been painting professional for the last 3 years and I'm considered O.K. by the people with 30 years experience who I work for. I recently started working for Collegeworks and make 200-300 dollars less than I would working for a real, professional painter, instead I am working with an inexperienced 20 year old kid with no sense of timing or how to properly use a paintbrush or have the right tools for the job. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great person of strong character, dude just doesn't know what the hell he's doing. He needs more experience, years of it, under someone who is much older and has been painting for a long time. Period. Don't use collegeworks basically for the reason that the people they have running their jobsites are too young and too inexperienced and from what I can tell this guy who I am soon to not be working for will get killed on a ladder judging from what I've seen him do thus far.

ASU Student 4 years ago

Let me tell you my story....As a manager of CWP I went 0 for 25 on my first 25 estimates (sales meetings), went through 32 painters before having a steady crew, made half the profit I should of in the first 5 jobs I did (10%), and was dead last in the beginning of most of the things I did for CWP. Let me be real with you here.. I sucked at CWP in the beginning. It was actually pretty depressing at first. However, I made a choice that I would follow through no matter what. The reality is if I really want to be an entrepreneur one day the only way to really understand if you are capable is to just go out and do it. If I went out and ran my own business instead of doing CWP I would figured out the same lessons but with much more to lose... such as credit, my name, capital etc... To me if I didn't get paid a single dollar from CWP the experience of failure was well worth it. Through failure you truly understand your strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and what you actually need to work on. To follow through with this internship you must be elite and not weak. Now here is the end of my story.... I finished the summer at 100,986 in revenue, 27.2% profit, had steady 4 employees that loved me and collected 17 reference letters. The reality is CWP is a large company so you can get so many vast experiences..for example lets say there was a DM that didn't care then all the interns on his team would judge the company on their relationship with their DM. My DM really cared about my success. One of the most selfless people I have ever met. Honestly, this is not to convince the skeptics. I wasn't paid to write this shit...Before I signed up to CWP I looked all these reviews but it didn't stop me.

CWP New England 4 years ago

I recently completed my summer internship with College Works Painting and honestly this program has made me who I am today. Like most people, when I tried this for the first time, I was awful at it. I probably booked about $3,000 in 4 weeks. This is the point where most people would quit and go online to complain about how this is "a scam" or "a pyramid scheme" but this point actually ended up being my true motivation. I would hate to be known as a quitter, or a complainer, so I kept with it and ended the summer with $65,000 in revenue. It was the best experience of my life. I learned so much about business and myself, and developed a confidence that I wouldn't ever trade for the 50hr work weeks. I could not be more grateful, and encourage everyone who is given this opportunity to pounce on it, and really take advantage of what's placed in front of you.

richard 4 years ago

i love it can u call me back this summer

CWP oregon 4 years ago

I interned for CWP as a freshman at Oregon State. This internship was the hardest thing I had ever done. I watched as many other interns dropped out or quit as they were not cut out for the challenges of the job. I told myself that no matter what, I was determined to finish what I started. My DM is the hardest working person I have ever met to date, and he truly cared about developing me to my fullest, and that is exactly what happened. I ran a $100,000 business as a freshman in college, with 100% customer satisfaction from 36 clients. my confidence, communication, and time management skills have developed immensely. although I only made about 10% profit on the work that I did, this was due to my own short comings, because the resources were always available to me.

Not every DM in the company is as hardworking, honest, or selfless as mine was. Not every intern is as hard working, has the perseverance, or takes responsibility for there own learning the way I did. This experience was life changing for me, but it is not for everyone. If you go into this program half-assed, you will probably have a negative experience. But if you are ready for a challenge that will change your life, this could be it.

Angry intern 4 years ago

I am currently an intern with CWP and i have to say it is tough you do have to work hard.. I'm all for working hard you won't find anyone else with a bigger drive to be great like i do but if I'm working my ass off I should be getting something out of it... I took this internship because they promised money and rewards to the hardest worker.. Well here i am working my ass off and yet other interns are getting more leads, and booking more jobs while I'm running around in the heat getting doors slammed in my face and being cursed at through windows.. This internship essentially takes advantage of the students who want to work hard and at something to run a business that has a small consumer population so you'll knock on 300 doors and only get 12 people who want to get their house painted... And then those 12 will lower down to 3 who actually get it painted... And then you have to go all the the way back and knock on doors again.. I mean that's a lil much don't you think? If I'm working my ass off I should be getting alot out of it but not in this case. .. You can honestly find different ways to build your work ethic than selling house painting.. I am not happy with CWP at all at this point

Mike 4 years ago

You Sir ^, sound like like a whiny little bit*h...

CWP NEW ENGLAND 4 years ago

I worked with College Works in New England this past summer. It's a very hands on experience and I can definitely say I gained a ton of communication skills and business experience by being part of the program. Moreso, however, College Works taught me confidence in myself as well as motivated me to improve myself and work harder in other aspects of my life. The cons of the program-- it is a bit of an investment. You put in a little bit of money in terms of gas before you begin gaining, however if you push through that middle period you'll benefit tremendously. Worth the hard work 100%, I highly recommend this program

Ashley 3 years ago

I had the pleasure of researching this program for College Works...there has been a lot of complaints and some good reviews. But what I don't here is what it taught was a big failure, was it. This is an internship, hell you are lucky it was paid because not a lot are pain internship and with it being paid of course you are not going to get paid enough. It's a big company that has many many many company under it and if they have interns not making enough revenues and or quitting then yea the money is slow. All that money is spread and used and blah blah blah and it's an INTERNSHIP. I'm a single mother of 3 and you know what, I'm going for it. I don't have nothing now so if I can take anything from this program it will be the skills that I've learn for just about free. As much as I need the money I rather have the experience to start my own business and be successful in my family's life. Hell you might see me in a Fortune 500 and if this program is as good as people claim than that will be one of my goal. Thanks for reading and for the ppl considering I hope I've help in the decision.

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